I would love to be a locavore and support small farmers, crop diversity, organic everything, and most of all, eat well. I’m too lazy though. I just can’t bring myself to learn to cook so many new foods here, and I certainly can’t bring myself to drive all over the island (as small as it is) to procure the ingredients. Recently, Kanu Hawai’i sponsored an eat local challenge. I didn’t do it, knowing I’d fail, but I did embrace their idea to start small and include one locally grown food a day. THAT I can do!
In fact, I have been doing that for quite a while. We love the green beans grown in nearby Ewa, and Big Island Honey is yummy. Much of the time, my breakfast is a local papaya (with off island cottage cheese and granola though).
One of the foods I’ve been playing with is Okinawan sweet potatoes. Kinda ugly on the outside, they are purple on the inside! I first experienced them mashed with garlic at Orchids in the Halekulani. With roast chicken, it was delicious.
At home, I’ve tried to recreate the garlic mashed version:
(The kids, not loving regular mashed potatoes, tolerated these. Purple in and of itself doesn’t carry as much weight as I had hoped.)
Then I moved on to Twice Baked potatoes (with cinnamon):
OK, but not really worth the effort.
And tonight I tried the much raved about Sweet Potato Biscuits. Surprise! — my lavender-grey colored biscuits turned green while waiting to be baked! I had heard that lemon juice will turn these purple potatoes magenta, so I’m guessing it’s the baking powder in the dough that turns them green. Baked up, they are grass green with little confetti flecks of purple. Party food!
Just for fun, I poured a little vinegar on my biscuit and, sure enough, it turned pinky purple. Move over pH paper or red cabbage juice, let’s play science experiment with foods you actually want to eat!